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Public Scoping Meeting on City’s 44th Drive Project Planned for Sept. 17

The city’s proposed project for 44th Drive (colored buildings north of Anable Basin), also known as the Long Island City Innovation Center. (NYC EDC)

Sept. 6, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A public scoping meeting on the city’s massive and controversial proposal for 44th Drive in Long Island City will be taking place later this month.

The meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17 at the CUNY School of Law, and will be split into two sessions—one at 3 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m.

The scoping meeting focuses on the city’s proposed project, dubbed the Long Island City Innovation Center, and the potential environmental effects resulting from the project.

The proposal, put forth by the Economic Development Corporation and TF Cornerstone, calls for a 1.75 million square foot development featuring more than 1,000 units in two towers, a public school and park, and thousands of square feet of office and industrial space all within two waterfront sites.

But the city’s vision requires some zoning changes to the area, which will be granted or rejected after it undergoes a months-long public review process known as ULURP.

The scoping meeting, however, is part of the environmental review process that comes when a project and zoning change is anticipated to have significant environmental impacts. It’s also a precursor to ULURP, which is set to begin in the first half of 2019 for this project.

In the public scoping meeting, attendees can give feedback on the “draft scope of work”, or the variety of topics that should be looked at when the city and developers are determining the project’s environmental impact.

Topics typically included in the draft scope of work include infrastructure, traffic and parking, air quality, noise, natural resources, and more.

The proposed development’s location, outlined in red and blue on 44th Drive. (NYC EDC)

Comments made during the meeting are often incorporated into what will become the environmental impact statement, which specifically outlines impacts related to the rezoning and any mitigation measures to be used.

The city is also accepting written comments on the draft scope of work until 5 p.m. on Sept. 28.

The city’s project was first revealed in 2017, when it announced TF Cornerstone as the developer to help build out a massive mixed-use development focusing on office and industrial space in what is currently the site of a DOT roadway repair unit and a DOE parking lot.

The proposed project, while still in its early stages, has garnered massive push-back from residents and even from elected officials who say the development is too large in an area already overwrought with development. Many, in addition, say the city is wasting scarce publicly-owned land on luxury towers rather than bringing more public goods.

But the EDC and TF Cornerstone say the project is diverse, and will deliver hundreds of affordable homes, jobs, and workforce training programs—similar to what those opposed to the project have been asking for.

A rendering of the proposed Long Island City Innovation Center at 44th Drive. (EDC)

The public scoping will take place at the CUNY School of Law, located at 2 Court Square West. Written comments on the draft scope of work can be submitted by mail to:

Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination
Attn: Ingrid Young
253 Broadway, 14th Floor
New York, New York 10007

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LIC Neighbor

Critizise Jimmy Van Bramer, the Mayor and JVB’s handling of the homeless shelthers in LIC, speak out against homeless shelters and Sunnyside Post won’t print your comments.


Many of the arguments against the LIC Innovation Center are reactionary and elitist despite the attempt to portray themselves as progressive and democratic. Because of its popularity and net migration of college graduates, artists, professionals, and immigrants from all over the country and the world NYC needs more housing units. It is ignorant and elitist to prevent the construction of 1,000 residential units because a handful of people might lose some of the sunshine in the backyards of neighboring lots or an unobstructed view of the waterfront. If the choice is about sunshine and views for a few “activists” or new housing for thousands of “newbies,” the decision should be made in favor of the many in need, not the entitled few.


Elitist is a wonderful word to put down citizens who push back against bully developers and their well paid political hires. This developer robot, “Anonymous” of September 7th, confuses housing for the mostly luxury class as a counter to needs for air and light–by the way Sunnyside will need a little, please. The industrial zoning should be sacrosanct and the “breaking” of the Department of Education building into a nebulous educ-thingy definition shows the class prejudice of this writer.
TF Cornerstone wants to collude with Plaxall to break the middle class who work in the light industry zoning, north of Anable Basin and force job loss, jobs they don’t respect–jobs for working people who make a bare middle class wage.
Wealth building for the wealthy–no light or air housing or jobs for the middle wage displaced.
So, thank you, Anonymous for furthering the wage and class divide with that super oblivious argument.


I would agree with the pushback about the selloff of public lands, and I don’t really buy that the promised proportions of the housing will be “affordable”.
The idea that the zoning right along the waterfront should be sacrosanct is foolish, though. There is plenty of industrial zoned property literally across Vernon, and many blocks into the interior, plenty of it empty. Empty lots, empty warehouses, empty factories. It’s a boon for new breweries since they can get the space cheap, which is nice, but hardly large-scale employment. No one in those spaces are going to have any rational complaint about the shade cast by a residential building on the waterfront, either. No one lives in the shadow.
That a new use for property directly along the waterfront itself should be explored is good – parks, residential (luxury or otherwise), offices, any. Better than taxi depots, bus parking and impound lots. If such transformations are to be pursued, though (save the parks idea), they should be done on private land, not from further giveaway of public land.


The “D” of September 13 is not “D.”
I wrote that elitists are targeting the light industrial zoned areas. The second “D” letter is a troll. He dislikes small business, and also cleverly makes a “private land” designation for luxury hi-rises–zoned light industrial. Possibly a Russian lawyer troll. If the owners/leasers of the zoned area had security, instead of constant threats from speculators who want to exploit any opening to crack open more hi-rises sans infrastructure costs and maintenance, they would be encouraged to invest in attracting long-term tenants. Another group of movie studios, etc.


The FAKE MRLIC wrote the September 6, 2018 comment on Trump and Luxury Condos. My take on this is Jimmy Van Bramer and Community Board #2 need to STOP this massive BS Development. Cathy Nolan should also weigh in on this. It is BAD for the neighborhood and its already crowded and fragile infrastructure. Come on with those dislikes developers who sponsor LICPOST.


Why would developers downvote you when you support one of the biggest luxury condo developers, Trump?

He’s giving millions of dollars of tax breaks to only the most wealthy americans, many of whom are big developers. Why would they downvote a huge supporter of real estate developers, like yourself?


To Mr. Hypocrite: Developers don’t like the truth that I say about what is happening in LIC today. The GREEDY Developers want to sucker people here with phony lines such as near shopping. WHAT shopping? Key Food! Food Cellar? Near trains they tell buyers. The trains are so packed many have to wait 2-3 trains to get on one. Add more people and it will get worse. Developers don’t care how they ruin LIC. All they want is their money. Do they tell you Transit Fare hikes are built in every 2 years for declining service? No, they don’t. You act as if I was the only person who voted for Trump. Guess what?you would be wrong !!!!!!!!!!.


You support greedy developers and so much you’d vote for them for president if you had the opportunity.

How long will you pretend that you don’t?


I like it that there’ll be space for industrial use. With Cornel-Tech being just across the river, in Roosevelt Island, this development can really foster and encourage the development of new high-tech companies. I hope it gets built.


Great, more luxury condos for the mega-rich like Trump to live in. We need a middle-class hero like Trump to fight off the interests of the ultra-rich people like Trump.


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